• Have global levels of carbon dioxide reached their highest concentration in human history? • Did the Obama administration make serious mistakes before and after the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya?
• Is Barack Obama an American citizen?
What do these questions have in common? First, the answer to all of them is yes. Second, the monumentally unhinged wing of the Republican Party sees them as part of a giant conspiracy to undermine American institutions and take over the country; and they intend to get to the bottom of it, no matter how long it takes, how much it costs and how much damage it does to, well, American institutions and the country. And since there is no bottom – no scientific consensus on global climate change that will satisfy Senator Inhofe, no birth certificate that will convince Congressman Hudson, no investigation that will mollify Congressman Issa – these matters will remain party applause lines through 2016.
However understandable the president’s frustration with the Benghazi investigation, he should release the unclassified emails John Boehner wants. Yes, Boehner’s staff has seen them already, but perhaps they are slow readers. Don’t just make them available to Congress, publish them for all of us. Google probably has them anyway. The best antidote to conspiracy theorists is complete transparency. You will never convince the witch hunters, but you will answer the questions they raise in others, and even the hint of a cover-up can be fatal.